Saturday, 29 July 1995

AUC 1995 - Elsey Homestead

Another attraction at Mataranka Homestead is a flight in a genuine Gypsy Moth. The flights vary according to the relative bravery of the passenger and we watched, with amusement, as those who took the acrobatics - flight, returned to the ground and tried to convince their friends how wonderful it was. They all had one thing in common, regardless of their nationality, age or sex, they all had white faces and shaky knees !

Sue offered me a flight for my birthday present, but I declined, as I did not have the required intestinal fortitude to undertake such an adventure.

Sam and Sarah
Our morning was spent lounging about the general area and included a visit to the "Elsey Homestead" building, a recreation used in the movie "We Of The Never Never". The information contained inside the building and on the verandahs, was excellent and showed what great men and women settled this alternatively arid and wet landscape. Sue and I believed the information here was the best of its type we had seen or read.

Despite it being a Saturday, the children attacked some school work until the afternoon heat became too much for us all, so a desire to swim was too strong an attraction. It was off to the Thermal Pool and an afternoon of relaxation and mirth. The relaxation is self-evident - the beautiful water of the pool - but the mirth came from watching successive groups of people arrive, immerse and then be told they were sharing the pool with a large snake!

Monty had arrived in the morning - this time with two mates - and had swum to a resting place at the river end of the pool, where he was sleeping in a coil, half submerged under a fallen log. We stood within one metre of him and observed his thick body (approximately 150 mm in diameter) and the olive green colour of his scales. Despite our desire to see the crowd scatter, Monty stayed this way for the two hours we were at the pool and we left, feeling cheated of even more fun. The reactions of each new group of people was well worth the viewing, however, even if the eventual scatter was missed by our crew.

The evening was spent listening to the live entertainment - as for the previous evening, Tim Rickards - and although much of the patter was similar, it was still a fun night. Chris and I received an extension of time and stayed for an additional session, whilst the others gained the drop on us in the shut eye department. All things considered, our time here seemed too short, but we had started to think this would be the case from now on, until we left the Top End and began the southward trek. A return visit on the path to South Australia was part of our itinerary and all of the crew were happy at the thought of more time in the Thermal Pool.

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